Heuristic ( heuristics; Greek: , "find" or "discover") refers to experience-based techniques for problem solving, learning, and discovery. Heuristic methods are used to speed up the process of finding a good enough solution, where an exhaustive search is impractical. Examples of this method include using a "rule of thumb", an educated guess, an intuitive judgment, or common sense.
The Site Evaluation is often the first step in an engagement.
This high-level insight is pretty effective at identifying the accessible low-hanging fruit.
I spend some time at your site; pushing, prodding, and taking notes.
In a short period of time I can tell you ...
What it Is
What Needs Work
Heuristics: Evaluation Checklist
This portion of the document gives us a sense of the general strengths and weaknesses of the site. Here's a brief overview of the some of the types of topics I look at - and how I describe them.
Navigation immediacy, obviousness, consistency
Design Theme continuity, attractiveness
Graphics appropriateness, speed of display
Additional topics: Layout, Clarity, Comprehension ...
Structure cohesion, fluidity
Context Sensitivity richness, validity
Depth volume, utility
Additional topics: Flow, Relevance, Coherence ...
Site Map structure, completeness
Quick Tour validity, conciseness
Help clarity, completeness
Additional topics: Glossary, Contact Us, Shortcuts, Personalization, Printability ...
Goal-oriented Does it achieve intent?
Useful Is it worthwhile?
Impressive Is it memorable?
Additional topics: Enjoyable, Interesting, Attractive ...
At the end of the day we have a basis for discussing what needs to be done and how to go about doing it.
The next step might be a Content Inventory
What Needs to Be Done